Migrant farm worker vaccine pilot to run at Toronto airport this weekend

Pearson airport

Ontario will start offering COVID-19 vaccines to migrant farm workers arriving at Toronto's international airport through a pilot project this weekend, The Canadian Press has learned.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs says the pilot will run early Saturday morning, offering shots to 200 workers arriving on a flight from Mexico.

Officials from the ministries of health and agriculture, health-care practitioners and representatives from the Mexican consulate will be at Pearson International Airport to meet the group, offering doses after the workers pass through customs.

The arriving workers will be offered doses of the Moderna vaccine, which will be administered in a screened-off area after they take a mandatory COVID-19 test upon arriving.

The government says it will follow up with farms to administer the second dose through the local public health unit where the individuals work.

The program will become permanent after implementing lessons learned from Saturday's initial pilot, with plans to offer shots to more arriving workers next week.